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Writing Fiction: An Introductory Guide: Blogs & Websites

A guide to the craft and business of writing fiction.

Blogs & Websites

Introduction to Blogs & Websites

 

Many writers love to help other writers succeed using blogs and podcasts to talk about the craft of writing, the publishing life, and how they got there. 

 

Blogs & Websites contents

General WebsitesThese websites include places to post your work and meet other readers and writers, find author interviews, writing challenges, and even an online game that involves creative writing. (Note that all of these are free unless otherwise stated.)

Craft of WritingHere you can find blog posts by authors who are excited to help other authors succeed in the craft of writing.

Get Your Facts RightTV shows get their facts wrong all the time. Writers don't have to! Check out these blogs and websites by professionals willing to share their knowledge so writers don't pull readers out of their stories.

PublishingThese blogs put a focus on publishing, while also discussing other aspects of the writing life and the craft of writing.

Podcasts & Radio ShowsIf you enjoy listening to people give you writing advice, then these are the podcasts for you!

General Websites

 

Archive of Our Own - A fan-created, fan-run, nonprofit, noncommercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic.

FanFiction.net - A community for readers and writers of fanfiction, where writers can share their work in a free online space. Run by the same folks that run FictionPress.

FictionPress - A community for readers and writers of original fiction and poetry, where writers can share their work in a free online space. Run by the same folks that run FanFiction.net.

Goodreads - Need a social networking site for bookworms just like you? Want to join or start an online book group? Want to shmooze with your favorite authors and keep track of what you’ve read? This is the place for you!

Library Thing - (Free version & cost) Catalog your books, movies, and music; find new books to read; talk about books with other bibliophiles, track and lend your book; and more.

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - Write 50,000 words in a single month! This is the group to get you to write that novel you've been dying to write your entire life.

New York Times Writing and Writers - News about writing and writers, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

The Paris Review: Interviews – Interviews with authors going back to the 1950’s.

Pondrin - A place where you can share your poetry, fiction, lyrics, and artwork for others to see. You can also make friends and critique each other's work. 

Storium – Is an online storytelling game you can play with friends. Learn more here.

StoryGraph - Helps you surface the best books that fit your current mood. Website is currently in beta.

Wattpad - The world's largest community for writers and readers, where writers can share their work in a free online space. 

Winning Writers - Founded in 2001, and located in Massachusetts, Winning Writers finds and creates quality resources for poets and writers.

Writer Beware - Sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from other organizations, the Writer Beware website provides warnings about literary schemes and scams, along with information on how writers can protect themselves.

Writer's Digest - One of the most useful websites for new and experienced writers. They have a lot of books that are a must read and great webinars on every topic imaginable.

Craft of Writing

 

Daily Writing Tips – From grammar mistakes to getting through writers block, this site has tips for everything writerly.

Grammarphobia - Busts language myths and deciphers tricky usage rules.

Grub Writes – The folks at Grub Street believe that everyone with a desire to write should be taken seriously, taught the craft at a high level, and pushed to produce their best work. This is their blog, full of writing advice!

Helping Writers Become Authors – Run by K.M. Weiland. Her goal for this blog is to show you how to write your best story–change your life–and astound the world.

Ink & Quills - Author, Kaitlin Hillerich, helps new writers develop the skills they need to write spectacular stories that readers and publishers will adore.

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University - Schools you in the hows of writing with a rigorous weekly schedule—from Writing Tip Monday to Writing Prompt Sunday—making the site ideal for those trying to develop discipline. 

Jody Hedlund - Author of inspirational fiction offers writing advice to writers of all ages and experience levels.

Well Storied. - Do you have a drawer full of unfinished manuscripts and a penchant for procrastinating? Are you eager to turn your writing dreams into writing realities? Writer, you've come to the right place. My name is Kristen Kieffer, and I'm here to help you bring your stories to life.

The Write Practice - The Write Practice was started with one goal, to help writers practice, become better writers, and get their best writing published. 

Writers Knowledge Base With 40,000+ articles on writing you're bound to find what you need to take you to the next level as a writer.

Writers Unboxed - Writer Unboxed is dedicated to publishing empowering, positive, and provocative ideas about the craft and business of fiction. 

Writers Rumpus – A critique group from Andover, MA and blog for children’s, middle grade, and young adult authors.

Get Your Facts Right

 

Blogs & single blog posts

50 Fabulous Resources for Crime Writers - A list of blog posts about writing crime fiction including characterization, the genre in general, references, and techniques & devices, put together by the contributors to Writer's Write.

The Crime Fiction Writer’s Forensics Blog – The science of crime. The art of fiction. Author D.P. Lyle, M.D. has practiced cardiology for the past 40 years, written crime fiction and several nonfiction books about forensics, and has acted as a consultant for many popular television shows and books.

Fact-Checking Tips for Indie Authors - In self-publishing and increasingly with traditional publishing, fact checking your work, be it fiction or nonfiction, falls squarely on the shoulders of the author. Let Ingram Spark explain how to go about fact-checking your work with this short article, no matter what genre you write. 

The Graveyard Shift - Lee Lofland is a veteran police investigator whose career has included work as an officer in Virginia’s prison system, a sheriff’s deputy, a patrol officer, and finally, detective. He has helped countless popular and aspiring writers with his blog, covering topics such as police procedure, forensics, criminal behavior, and what it’s like to be a cop. He is also the founder of the Writer’s Police Academy, currently held annually in Wisconsin. Scroll down on his homepage to learn more about the WPA.

Malpractice: Getting Medical Facts Right in Fiction - Author, Cait Reynolds, walks you through the ER in a guest post for Kristen Lamb's blog.

Mental Illness in Fiction: Getting it Right Kathleen S. Allen, a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, debunks some of the common myths of mental illness in a guest post for Dan Kobolt. 

Researching Facts While Writing Fiction - Author, Patricia Skalka, explains how she did her research for a murder mystery novel, Death at Gills Rock

Writers Helping Writers - By the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, this blog gives general writing advice as well as career advice for your characters. 

 

Library resources

BPL's Online Databases - The library has online journal and newspaper articles on many subjects including, art and architecture, music, government and law, health, psychology and sociology, hobbies and leisure, and more! These are free to access, though you will need your library card number and your PIN to access them outside of the library.

Digital Commonwealth - Explore historical collections from libraries, museums, and archives across Massachusetts, including photographs, maps, postcards, manuscripts, books, artifacts, and more.

Fine Arts & Music - The Arts department at the library includes more than 125,000 fine art titles, over 150,000 music and performing arts volumes, and architectural plans, blue prints, and drawings. 

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center The map collection is global in scope, dating from the 15th century to the present, with a particular strength in maps and atlases from the New England region, American Revolutionary War period, nautical charts, and world urban centers.

Research Services The BPL has extensive research collections available for use within the Library, including newspapers and magazines on microfilm, and government documents. Our research librarians can help you find what you're looking for.

 

Other online resources

Behind the Name - The etymology and history of first names.

Food Timeline - Ever wonder how the ancient Romans fed their armies? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip...and why? So do we!!! Food history presents a fascinating buffet of popular lore and contradictory facts. Most foods are not invented; they evolve. We make food history fun.

 

 

Publishing

 

Anne R. Allen's Blog... with Ruth Harris - Ruth Harris and Anne Allen are a couple of publishing industry veterans working to help newer writers create their best possible work and launch it successfully into the marketplace—whether you’re going indie or taking the traditional route.

The Book Designer - Joel Friedlander has used his background in book design, advertising, and graphic design to create this collection of over 700 articles that are authoritative, easy to understand, and fair-minded. The information here has already helped guide thousands of authors as they made their way through the publishing process.

The Creative Penn Joanna Penn is an authorpreneur and book marketer who gives advice for authors so they don't make the same marketing and self-publishing mistakes she did.

David Gaughran - has helped thousands of authors to self-publish their work via his workshops, blog, and books such as Let's Get Digital, Let's Get Visible, Amazon Decoded, and Strangers to Superfans. 

JA Konrath - A pioneer in self-publishing, he has been featured in many magazines such as Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, and others. 

Jane Friedman - A 20-year publishing veteran, Jane writes for Publisher's Weekly, and on her blog explains the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing.

Kristen Lamb - She has guided new and experienced authors in how to use social media to create a solid platform and brand. She also helps authors connect to readers and grow that relationship into a long-term fan base. 

Mark Coker - The founder of Smashwords, a distributor of indie ebooks for Apple, B&N, OverDrive, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, and libraries. Read his 10th Anniversary post to learn more about why he started Smashwords.

Nathan Bransford – Offers candid advice on building a platform, querying agents, targeting genres, and more.

Reedsy - A place to learn how to successfully publish your book.

Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors - Covers the seven processes of publishing – editorial, design, production, distribution, marketing, promotion and licensing publishing rights – together with writing advice and how to run an indie author business.

Terribleminds - A novelist, screenwriter and game designer, Chuck Wendig, shares his knowledge about fiction writing, revision tactics, and publishing in various arenas on his blog. (Note that his colorful language can be considered NSFW.)

Tomi Adeyemi – Tomi’s blog covers a wide range of topics from editing, to working with an agent, getting a book deal, and handling feedback on your work among many other topics.

Writer Beware Sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from other organizations, the Writer Beware blog covers literary schemes and scams in real time along with publishing industry news and advice for writers.

Writer’s Digest’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog - Dedicated to sharing the latest and greatest instruction and information on literary agents, literary agencies, query letters, submissions, publishing, author platform, book marketing, and more.

Podcasts & Radio Shows

 

AskALLi Self-Publishing Advice Broadcast – Brought to you by the nonprofit organization known as Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). All interviews, advice and recommended services are vetted by ALLi’s Watchdog Desk. Self-publishing is a fast changing world but you can trust us to bring you only the best and most actionable ideas and insights, tools and techniques: what we know is working for authors right now.

Author Audience - Shelley Hitz brings you actionable training, spiritual inspiration, and encouragement for you to write, publish, and market your books. While geared toward Christian authors, this podcast will have information for everyone.

Dead Robots’ Society - A fun podcast by aspiring writers, for aspiring writers where the hosts share writing insights.

Grammar Girl - Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl. The podcast covers such topics as correct word usage, correct punctuation usage, and more.

I Should Be Writing - Writing interviews and how-tos from Mur Lafterty, a science fiction writer who's still learning. 

Minorities in Publishing - a podcast discussing diversity (or lack thereof) in the book publishing industry with other professionals working in-house as well as authors and those in the literary scene. 

Mythcreants – Talks about the way different plots, items and tropes work in science fiction and fantasy.

Odyssey Writing Workshop - Odyssey is an intensive six-week workshop for writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror held each summer at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. These podcasts are excerpts of the guest lectures which include top authors, editors, and agents.

Self-Publishing Podcast - Authors Johnny B. Truant, David Wright, and Sean Platt explore everything related to getting your writing published… and making money doing it… in today’s new DIY digital publishing frontier. This isn’t artsy talk — it’s “authorpreneurial” business strategy that turns self-publishing from sideline into a rewarding career.

Write the Book - The Vermont podcast and radio show about writing, for writers and curious readers, featuring interviews with authors, poets, agents, editors, and illustrators. 

Writing Class Radio - Listen in on a writing class as students write their way to the truth with lots of resistance, crying, break-throughs, and connections made. 

Writing Excuses - Hosted by authors, Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson and others, each episode is 15 minutes long: “Because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.”

Write-minded Podcast - For writers craving a unique blend of inspiration and real talk about the ups and downs of the writing life. Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of  National Novel Writing Month